Transmission dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 on the Diamond Princess uncovered using viral genome sequence analysis.

Kunikazu Hoshino, Tatsuji Maeshiro, Nao Nishida, Masaya Sugiyama, Jiro Fujita, Takashi Gojobori, Masashi Mizokami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

An outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) occurred aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship between her January 20 departure and late February 2020. Here, we used phylodynamic analyses to investigate the transmission dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 during the outbreak. Using a Bayesian coalescent-based method, the estimated mean nucleotide substitution rate of 240 SARS-CoV-2 whole-genome sequences was approximately 7.13 × 10$^{-4}$ substitutions per site per year. Population dynamics and the effective reproductive number (R$_{e}$) of SARS-CoV-2 infections were estimated using a Bayesian framework. The estimated origin of the outbreak was January 21, 2020. The infection spread substantially before quarantine on February 5. The R$_{e}$ peaked at 6.06 on February 4 and gradually declined to 1.51, suggesting that transmission continued slowly even after quarantine. These findings highlight the high transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2 and the need for effective measures to control outbreaks in confined settings.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145496
JournalGene
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 15 2021

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